The White Sox (31-41) pulled out a much-needed, extra-inning win against the Mariners (34-35). Thanks to clutch pitching from the entire staff — and South Side rookie Zach Remillard — the Sox can now redeem their road trip with a series win tomorrow.
Lucas Giolito did the best with what he had today, and with little-to-no help from the offense, he was able to hold the Mariners to three runs ( two earned). The White Sox had plenty of chances to take control of the game well before the 11th inning, of course, but they continue to struggle with runners in scoring position.
Giolito certainly didn’t start the game how you’d hope, giving up a J.P. Crawford first-pitch solo shot to lead off the game. “Oh, so it’s going to be that kind of game,” was pretty much my immediate reaction.
Then later in the first, Seby Zavala inadvertently exacerbated the situation by dropping a perfectly catchable pitch for a passed ball, allowing Ty France to score the (unearned) second run for Seattle.
Gio didn’t have his A-game today, with his fastball topping out at just 93.7 mph, but he still put together a (mostly) productive outing. He continued to grind out the next few innings, even working through a jam in the second inning — partially thanks to Zavala throwing Dylan Moore out at second attempting to steal. Did Seby make up for allowing a run to score in the first? Probably not, but we will take it.
Pedro Grifol finally decided to switch up the lineup Saturday with Tim Anderson riding the struggle bus for the last few weeks, slotting Andrew Benintendi into the leadoff spot. It seemed to pay off too, as he got on base four times today, and Anderson left the game after getting doubled off at first base in the third inning. This allowed Remillard to enter the game, and honestly, it was a great thing that he did!
Logan Gilbert had a fairly similar outing as Giolito, though he managed to allow the same amount of earned runs in 25 fewer pitches. He relied heavily on the slider today, and his fastball also topped out at 96.7 mph, but struck out just three Pale Hose. Benintendi was driving hits all over the field, but it was Eloy Jiménez that brought the power, cutting Seattle’s lead in half in the second inning after smoking a homer to center.
Benintendi kicked off another two-out rally in the fifth, and then Remillard won a tough pitching matchup against Logan Gilbert in his first MLB at-bat, drawing a walk to push the runner into scoring position. Luis Robert Jr. came through clutch again, using some nifty hitting to push a single through the right side of the infield and drive Benintendi in to tie the game at two.
The South Side bullpen took it from the fifth inning on, and they were nearly perfect, combining for five hitless innings, just two walks, and eight K’s. Gregory Santos did have a perfect outing, retiring all six batters he faced and making it look effortless. Aaron Bummer came in to help Kenyan Middleton finish out the bottom of the ninth, striking out Julio Rodríguez in a huge at-bat to push the game to extras.
Things got dicy for Bummer in the 10th (assisted by an intentional walk to Teoscar Hernández, because Pedro isn’t messing around today). I can confirm that I was sweating during the entire 10th, but Bummer got the job done, and eventually secured the win.
Back to the star of tonight’s show, though: Remillard. In his first career big-league game, he went 3-for-3, earning his first hit on a perfectly-placed bunt single in the seventh, and tying the game in the top of the ninth on a base hit to left, giving the South Siders a chance to actually win the game. Just two innings later, in the 11th, déjà vu struck, as Remillard dropped another single to score Elvis Andrus (again) and take the lead, 4-3. It was an absolutely fantastic night all around for Remillard: 13/10, no notes.
Jesse Scholtens was given the save opportunity in the 11th, and successfully shut the Mariners down to steal the win. No extra-inning heartbreak tonight here, folks!
Lance Lynn is on the mound for the Sunday finale against Seattle righthander Bryce Miller, and if we can avoid a six-run meltdown, that would be ideal for everyone. Let’s get the series W tomorrow!